The Music that Got Us Through 2020 & 2021

Vinyl cut black record with red label on a turntable with stylus

Let’s be honest: 2020 and 2021 were, on the whole, not the greatest years in recent human history. But there were some bright spots, and one for which we’re especially grateful is the best vinyl records of 2020 and 2021. From reliable old-school classics to brand new beats, here’s some of the top music of 2020, a few of our most beloved 2021 music trends, and what we expect to stay beneath the stylus looking forward. 

Happier Than Ever / Billie Eilish

Recorded between 2020 and 2021, Happier than Ever is the perfect combination of elegiac, empowering, and honest… in other words, the perfect music of 2020 and 2021. A trailblazer among 2021 music trends, this album (according to both our humble opinion and the Grammys) represents one of the best vinyl records of 2020 and 2021. With gorgeous sound quality and a design that’s sure to be considered iconic in the years to come, this album is definitely worth scoring on vinyl. 

Kit A Mnesia / Radiohead

Thom Yorke & Co. have gotten us through some rough patches before, and one of our favorite 2021 music trends is looking back to look forward. Among the best music of 2020 and 2021 are some of the new tracks from the group, like “Follow You Around” (we’ve always wondered what Guy Pearce’s kitchen looked like), but the real treasure is the new pressing of Amnesiac and KID A (an iconic pick we’ve celebrated on the blog before). While these two albums weren’t quite young enough to include in our top picks from the past decade, their re-release puts them among the top music of 2020 and 2021. Do your collection a favor and pick up the three-album set of 12” cut black vinyl, recorded at half-speed for optimal quality, and enjoy more than one of the best vinyl records of 2020 and 2021, with classic three-pocket gatefold artwork. Just be sure to protect that gorgeous three-pocket gatefold artwork once it’s yours.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust / David Bowie

Another throwback that deserves plenty of love is The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust. 

Tracks like “Starman” and “Moonage Daydream” are perfect for those who would rather have been anywhere (or anywhen) else this past year, and this quality of timelessness is one of our favorite 2021 music trends. Of course, like so many of the best vinyl records of 2020 and 2021, this album is best enjoyed from start to finish. Thankfully, this vinyl classic can be picked up for a song (so to speak), but for serious collectors, tracking down the original 1972 release may just be worth the extra effort and cost to add this jewel to your collection. 

RTJ4 / Run the Jewels

Record shop with the best vinyl records of 2020, framed albums, and a neon signed reading “play”

Speaking of jewels, we’ve always trusted RTJ to tell it like it is, and that’s exactly what we needed this past year. This is easily one of the best vinyl records of 2020, and we’re crazy about the look and feel of the deluxe edition. With a rich sound, inventive mix, and lyrics that are more unapologetic than ever, this easily goes down as some of the best music of 2020.


At Big Fudge, we love revisiting the classics and tracking the best 2021 music trends. Follow our blog and connect with us on social for the latest tips on new record releases, the best vinyl records of 2020 and beyond, and insights for keeping your collection in mint condition. And now that we’ve reviewed some of the best music of 2020 and 2021, read on and get a bit of inspiration for your collection with the 10 most valuable vinyl records of all time